In “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”

July 1, 2010

For the past two weeks, I was in Minnesota visiting family and friends and enjoying the things about Minnesota that I miss so much!! Here’s a quick recap of what I was up to during this time.

After the marathon, I spent a few days with my sister. We had so much fun hanging out and catching up!! I wish I didn’t live so far from her!!

She lives in this gigantic house with four other girls.

One evening I went to watch my sister play on her volleyball rec league. I would have liked to play, but I was WAY too sore after the marathon, so I just sat and watched and soaked up the warmth of the sunshine. Go Kristy!!

The next evening we ventured to downtown Fargo. One would think Fargo’s downtown wouldn’t be anything to brag about, but I was quite impressed with it. No, it wasn’t your big-city, hip, happening place, but the downtown strip did have a lot of charm. The area was pedestrian friendly with wide sidewalks, many of the buildings had been updated, and it was cute and clean, which made for an enjoyable experience.

We hit up this quaint cafe called Teaberry in downtown Fargo.

Teaberry features Boba teas. The term “boba” refers to the small tapioca balls which can be added to the beverages to add a fun element while drinking your beverage. They offer fruit, coffee, or tea smoothies with fresh, natural ingredients.

I chose a coffee flavored smoothie; it was very good. My sister had a fruit smoothie, and then we split a crepe with mangos and raspberries in it–what a great fruit combination!! So sweet and delectable–and not too heavy. (We consumed it before I remembered to take a picture.)

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this car–it was just too Midwestern with the cow sticking out of the trunk. Love it!

While in Minnesota, I always make a point of stopping at my favorite stores that we don’t have in Alaska.

First one. . . Panera Bread!!

Yum, I love how fresh and healthy the choices are at Panera Bread. My mom and I split this Mediterranean Veggie sandwich filled with lettuce, tomato, roasted red peper, cucumber, onions, feta, and hummus on Tomato Basil bread.
We also shared this Fuji Apple Chicken salad. Every bite tasted like a fresh, crisp, juicy apple.

Next stop. . . . Trader Joe’s!!

I heart Trader Joe’s. I wish I could have stocked up on more things, but my suitcase was too heavy already.

I took this picture in honor of my parent’s pig farm.

Another must while in Minnesota. . . . spending time on the lake. How can you not, there are 11,842 of them to be exact!!

On a couple different days, I went out on my parent’s pontoon and did some fishing. Well, my parents and grandma fished while I soaked up some sun again.

My timing also worked out that I was able to attend the wedding of some close friends. I love weddings–such a joyous celebration!! It was great to see so many friends again.

Other things I love about Minnesota:

Storms~lightning, thunder, rain~and the cool cloud formations they bring!! At least to a certain extent. We did have tornado warnings on three separate occasions, which wasn’t particularily good.

One of those “small things” I like about being in Minnesota: the fact my fingernails actually grow!! I have no idea why, but anytime I go to Minnesota, my fingernails grow really well, but in Alaska, I cannot keep them long for the life of me.

And saving money and finding good deals.

I scored these bottles of OPI nail polish for 50 cents a piece!! (They retail at about $9.00 each!!) I was stoked.

Since the cost of living is less in Minnesota, the cost of professional services is also cheaper. I saved about $100 combined on a haircut and highlights, a full body massage, and a pedicure versus having those things done in Alaska. (Please forgive my oddly shaped toes.)

I had a great time and was so thankful to be able to do so much and see so many people. I was sad to leave, but I did miss this handsome guy a lot!!

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